Practicing Beginner’s Mind
Beginner’s mind is simply looking at everything with fresh eyes.
A beginner’s mind is curious and welcoming because it’s not overshadowed by judgements and preconceived ideas, it’s trying to see things without your internal filters.
Beginner’s mind is a state of being open-minded, and in practice, a type of mindfulness.
A great way to develop your beginner’s mind is to practice meditation. Practicing meditation allows you to see your thoughts and to see yourself as separate from your thoughts. This is what is needed to practice beginner’s mind. If you can see something and see all your thoughts surrounding it, you can also peel them away to look at the thing without all that baggage, with fresh eyes.
Why is beginner’s mind something we want to practice?
Fear holds us back from trying new things and in many cases that fear is unwarranted.
Maybe someone once told you, you aren’t a good student, so you stop trying to learn new things, you believe what they said is true, and so what is the point?
Maybe someone told you that murderers and rapists hang out in the woods so you are afraid to go hiking or camping.
Maybe you grew up in a community where people who have different skin tones, financial standing, or speech patterns were seen as less than, ignorant, or untrustworthy.
Do you see where looking from a beginner’s mind is most useful?
How many other less obvious filters are we looking through? Can you slow down enough, be mindful enough to practice beginner’s mind?